Slave trade plantation life and the presence of african languages in the caribbean
Download
1 / 57

- PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 626 Views
  • Updated On :

Slave Trade, Plantation Life and the Presence of African Languages in the Caribbean. Nicole Scott. Questions . What are the principal regions of origin of Africans in the Caribbean? What are the cultural and linguistic implications of the different regions of origin?. Questions cont’d.

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about '' - Angelica


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Slave trade plantation life and the presence of african languages in the caribbean l.jpg

Slave Trade, Plantation Life and the Presence of African Languages in the Caribbean

Nicole Scott


Questions l.jpg
Questions Languages in the Caribbean

  • What are the principal regions of origin of Africans in the Caribbean?

  • What are the cultural and linguistic implications of the different regions of origin?


Questions cont d l.jpg
Questions cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • What are the social contexts of African language survival in the Caribbean?

  • What are the factors which contributed to the emergence of Creole languages in most, but not all Caribbean societies?


References l.jpg
References Languages in the Caribbean

  • Eltis, David & David Richardson (1997) ‘West Africa and the Transatlantic Slave Trade: New Evidence of Long-run Trends’ in Routes to Slavery: Direction, Ethnicity, and Mortality in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. David Eltis & David Richardson (eds.) London: Frank Cass, 16-35. [2 O/S; 1WIC]


References cont d l.jpg
References cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Thornton, John (2000) ‘The Birth of an Atlantic World’ in Caribbean Slavery in the Atlantic Word: A Student Reader. Verene Shepherd and Hilary McD Beckles (eds.) Kingston: Ian Randale Publishers, 55-73. First published in Thornton, John (1992) in Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World 1400-1680 Cambridge: CUP, 13- 42. [6 RBC]


Preliminaries l.jpg
Preliminaries Languages in the Caribbean

  • The rise of plantation – moved from the cultivation of crops like ginger, cotton, tobacco to the labour intensive sugar.

  • Shortage of labour.

  • The need to have labour unrewarded to increase profits for plantation owners.


Preliminaries7 l.jpg
Preliminaries Languages in the Caribbean

  • The supply of a source of labour coerced and free.

  • Increasingly a reliance on African slavery.

  • Portuguese trading slaves from as early as 1479

  • Spanish started in 1503


Preliminaries8 l.jpg
Preliminaries Languages in the Caribbean

  • Dutch started in 1630’s.

  • English and French started in the 1640’s.

  • Trading was mainly done by private trading companies (along the West Coast). For e.g. Royal African Company’s trading post was established in modern day Ghana at Elmina.


Preliminaries9 l.jpg
Preliminaries Languages in the Caribbean

  • Slaves were: -

    • Prisoners of war

    • Criminal offenders

    • Debtors

    • Abductees


Principal regions of african origin l.jpg
Principal Regions of African Origin Languages in the Caribbean

  • West Africa

    • area bounded by Senegal River in the North to contemporary Angola in the South

    • Includes countries such as Senegambia (Senegal and Gambia), Sierra Leone, Windward Coast, Gold Coast, Bight of Benin, Bight of Biafra, West Central Africa.


Map of west africa l.jpg
Map of West Africa Languages in the Caribbean


Slide12 l.jpg
Note Languages in the Caribbean

  • Historians do not have all the answers but the hope is that in this course we will be able assess patterns of cultural and linguistic retention and adaptation. The idea is for us to understand the ways in which Africans shaped the Atlantic world through agricultural innovations, belief systems and cultural practices. Language is very important to all these areas.


Principal regions of origin l.jpg
Principal Regions of Origin Languages in the Caribbean

  • Senegambia

    • Modern Senegal and Gambia

    • Largely dominated by the French after the 1600’s.

    • Groups came from inland territories (around upper Niger River).


Principal regions of origin senegambia cont d l.jpg
Principal Regions of Origin – Senegambia cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Groups spoke mostly Bambara, Wolof

  • Mandingo slave traders brought them down to ports and outposts

  • Slaves from interior preferred as they were less likely to try to escape


Principal regions of origin senegambia cont d15 l.jpg
Principal Regions of Origin –Senegambia cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • General linguistic category – Mande

  • Very heterogeneous

  • Mostly Muslims and Animists


Principal regions of origin16 l.jpg
Principal Regions of Origin Languages in the Caribbean

  • Windward Coast

    • Trade along this part of the coast was haphazard

    • The dominant languages in the area are those of the Kru group.


Principal region of origin l.jpg
Principal Region of Origin Languages in the Caribbean

  • Gold Coast

    • Modern day Ghana

    • Trading post dominated by Royal African Company. The largest trading post was Elmina

    • Dutch expelled the Portuguese in 1642.

    • Lexical items of Portuguese origin survive in languages spoken there.


Principal region of origin gold coast cont d l.jpg
Principal Region of Origin—Gold Coast cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Main language groups –Ashanti, Fante, Agni (all subsumed under the name Akan)

  • Enslaved Africans from this area would be more likely to form an ethno linguistic grouping.


Principal region of origin19 l.jpg
Principal Region of Origin Languages in the Caribbean

  • Slave Coast

    • Area particularly important in early slave trade, especially 1700’s

    • Area dominated by French by 1730’s

    • Africans sold to mostly British and French traders.


Principal regions of origin slave coast cont d l.jpg
Principal Regions of Origin – Slave Coast cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Language groups—Ewe, Ga (subsumed under Kwa)

  • Dominance of this area in Atlantic Slave Trade waned in 1790

  • A relatively homogeneous culture (the Ewe) – the main variety of which is Fon but the languages are closely related to Akan languages in Morpho-syntactic structure.


Principal regions of origin21 l.jpg
Principal Regions of Origin Languages in the Caribbean

  • Bight of Biafra

  • Bight of Benin

    • Collectively form the Niger Delta area

    • Modern day Benin and SE coast of Nigeria respectively.

    • Main languages –Yoruba, Ijo, Ibo, Efik -Kwa languages (to a lesser extent Hausa, Fulani – West Atlantic language)


Principal regions of origin biafra and benin cont d l.jpg
Principal Regions of Origin –Biafra and Benin cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Area dominated by the Yoruba in 17th Century

  • Le Page argues that this is an area of fair linguistic diversity

  • Area became more important in the latter part of the slave trade.


Principal regions of origin23 l.jpg
Principal Regions of Origin Languages in the Caribbean

  • West Central Africa

    • Modern day Cameroon

    • Main language— Kongo

      • Mostly Bantu languages. There are at least 300 Bantu languages (covering much of the continent from Cameroon in the west to the tip of South Africa).

  • Angola

    • Became important to the Caribbean in the latter part of trading.


Principal regions of african origin languages l.jpg
Principal Regions of African Origin—Languages Languages in the Caribbean

  • By even conservative estimates, there are more than 800 distinct languages in Africa.

  • The largest, most far-flung family is Niger-Kordofanian.

  • Kordofanian includes pockets of little studied languages in Sudan

  • Niger-Congo includes all the West African Coastal Languages as well as the Bantu subgroup.


Niger congo language family l.jpg
Niger Congo Language Family Languages in the Caribbean

Niger Congo

Bantu Kwa Mande W/Atlantic

Kikongo Akan(Twi) Mandingo Wolof

Luba Anyi Bambara Serer

Lingala Ewe Mande Fulani

Kimbundu Yoruba

Ibo

Ga


Principal region of origin26 l.jpg
Principal Region of Origin Languages in the Caribbean

  • West Africa is the most populous area and it also has the most languages.

  • Nigeria alone is estimated to have over 300 languages


Regions of origin cont d l.jpg
Regions of Origin cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • The Transatlantic Slave Trade – largest long distance coerced migration in history. As it relates to the Caribbean, three regions dominated.

    • The Gold Coast

    • The Bight of Benin

    • The Bight of Biafra


Regions of origin cont d28 l.jpg
Regions of origin cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • These areas tend to be seen as the centre of gravity of traffic not just from West Africa but from the whole Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • These areas had the largest population densities on the sub continent.


Regions of origin cont d29 l.jpg
Regions of Origin cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Greatest urban development.

  • Most sophisticated state structures (Gold Coast and Bight of Benin)

  • Reasonably exclusive ethno-linguistic homogeneity within their hinterlands.


Regions of origin cont d30 l.jpg
Regions of Origin cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Portuguese based in Brazil dominated trade in the Bight of Benin

  • British were dominant in Gold coast and Bight of Biafra

  • Dutch – second largest number of voyages to the Gold Coast.


Regions of origin cont d31 l.jpg
Regions of Origin cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • French – second largest group in Bight of Biafra

  • After 1808 Cuban based Spanish slave traders became the largest group in the Bight of Biafra.


A look at the gold coast l.jpg
A Look at the Gold Coast Languages in the Caribbean

  • The pattern of West African arrival in the Americas was far from random.

  • The major single destination of Gold Coast slaves was Jamaica – 36% of the arrivals. Many however went to other parts of British Americas


Gold coast cont d l.jpg
Gold Coast cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Two thirds of all slaves leaving the Gold Coast went to the English speaking new world.

  • Barbados – major 17th cent. destination

  • Jamaica – dominated the 18th cent.


Gold coast cont d34 l.jpg
Gold Coast cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Akan cultural prominence in Jamaica (Ahanta, Fanti, Akim and Asante peoples among others) is well noted in the slave trade.

  • Spanish America – second most important destination for Gold Coast slaves after Jamaica


Cont d l.jpg
Cont’d Languages in the Caribbean

  • Most from Bight of Benin went to Brazil (6/10)

  • French Americas (2/10)

  • British Caribbean (1/10)


Gold coast languages l.jpg
Gold Coast Languages Languages in the Caribbean

  • Kwa

    • Akan - (Akwapem, Akim, Asante,Fante)

    • Anyi

    • Ewe

    • Yoruba

    • Ibo

    • Ga

      (to name a few were spoken from the Ivory Coast to Nigeria)


Cultural and linguistic implications of regional differentiation l.jpg
Cultural and Linguistic Implications of Regional Differentiation

  • The enslaved people were a heterogeneous group.

  • Could linguistic dominance have been established in spite of heterogeneity?


Cultural and linguistic implications of regional differentiation38 l.jpg
Cultural and Linguistic Implications of Regional Differentiation

  • The people were not homogenous in terms of nation but were they culturally and/or linguistically homogenous?


Culturally homogeneous areas l.jpg
Culturally Homogeneous Areas Differentiation

  • Gold Coast Akan (Twi)

  • Slave Coast Ewe (Fon)

  • Niger Delta Yoruba until 17th C.


Linguistic homogeneity l.jpg
Linguistic Homogeneity Differentiation

  • Niger-Congo Languages have common features: -

    • Morpho-Syntax

      • Copula, Serial Verbs, Negative concord, Isolating, Predicate Adjectives, Plurals, Reduplication.


Linguistic homogeneity cont d l.jpg
Linguistic Homogeneity cont’d Differentiation

  • Phonology

    • Open syllables, especially the inhibition of consonant clusters for e.g. JC wa ‘what,’ simit ‘smith’

    • Tone languages

    • Palatalization


Linguistic homogeneity42 l.jpg
Linguistic Homogeneity Differentiation

  • Lexicon/Semantics

    • Calques

    • Loan words

    • Semantic field (wood can refer to many things in JC etc.)


Cultural and linguistic implications of different areas of origin l.jpg
Cultural and Linguistic Implications of Different areas of Origin

  • Cultural --Upon arriving in the Caribbean they would still be enemies. Negated many efforts to overcome oppressors by joining forces.

  • Linguistic – some languages were more closely related than others


Linguistic implications of different regions of origin l.jpg
Linguistic implications of different regions of origin Origin

  • There could have been

    • Lingua Franca at the trading posts.

    • Pidgin on Middle Passage


Social context of african language survival in the caribbean l.jpg
Social Context of African Language Survival in the Caribbean Origin

  • Retentions (full sentences) found mostly in the African rituals/religious practices. In Jamaica for example the Maroons use(d) Kromanti to communicate with ancestors (see also Aub-Buscher pg7-8).

  • Dishes, amusements and customs. (ibid)


Social context of african language retention l.jpg
Social Context of African Language Retention Origin

  • Past times. In TFC ninnin ‘riddle’ could have come from Bambara nyini ‘to look for, (Bazin 1906:470-1).’ Bèlè ‘a dance with drums and singing’ from Nde, mbelése ‘I dance.’

  • Customs relating to economic life

    • Carrying load on head JC Kata. Kata in Twi means ‘to cover.’

    • Pathner (Savings) TFC susu in Igbo is esusu


Social context of african language survival cont d l.jpg
Social context of African Language survival cont’d Origin

  • Intimate, possibly taboo subjects such as certain parts of the body: TFC tutun, JC tuntun, in Bambaa tununin which means ‘private parts’

  • Designations of people and their characteristics. TFC béké ‘white man.’ This form is used in this sense in Igbo today.


Social contexts of african survival cont d l.jpg
Social contexts of African Survival cont’d Origin

  • A few terms designating creatures.


Survival cont d l.jpg
Survival cont’d Origin

  • Lexical items – taken as they are or with slight phonological changes.

  • Calques (loan translations) –

    • JC for e.g. Gad Aas (the preying mantis) can be found in Hausa Dokim (horse) Allah (God). Yai waata ‘tears’

    • TFC dlo zyé ‘tears,’ zo tèt ‘skull’

    • Berbice Dutch….


Survival cont d50 l.jpg
Survival cont’d Origin

  • Morphological features – maintained morphological features but lexical items were not retained for e.g. in Berbice Dutch Creole the demonstrative is formed by post posing the definite article to the noun as in Nembe (Ijo).

    • Nembe mi wari mi

      BDC di wari di

      the house the

      “this house”


Survival cont d51 l.jpg
Survival cont’d Origin

  • Morphological features cont’d

    • Reduplication (lexical and/or morphological) eg in JC poto-poto ‘muddy, miry, etc’ TFC toupatou – everywhere but toupatou-toupatou ‘JC aalbout aalbout’ Dou – sweet, doudou - sweetheart

    • Compounding –JC kis-tiit, bata-bruuz


Socio historic context of creole genesis l.jpg
Socio-historic Context of Creole Genesis Origin

  • Life in plantation societies

    • The impact of the Caribbean plantation context on language: -

      • Nature of crops (labour intensive vs tobacco, coffee, cocoa, annatto)

      • Black to White ratio

      • Presence of European indentured labourers working alongside enslaved Africans (compare Barbados with Jamaica)


Socio historic context of creole genesis cont d l.jpg
Socio-historic context of Creole Genesis cont’d Origin

  • Nature of European presence (compare absentee planters in the société de plantation with homesteads in the société de habitation)

  • Size of holdings (acreage under cultivation and the slave population required to maintain that size holding) (related to types of crops).

  • Stratification within the slave population (again compare sugar with other crops)


Socio historic context of creole genesis54 l.jpg
Socio-historic Context of Creole Genesis Origin

  • Ethnic and linguistic diversity (vs. homogeneity) within slave population.

  • Extent of networking between slave populations of different plantations.

  • Geography of the plantations:physical separation of Europeans and Africans.

    Geography of the wider terrain:physical separation of plantations.


Socio historic context of creole genesis55 l.jpg
Socio-historic Context of Creole Genesis Origin

  • Demographics

    • Origins of enslaved Africans over different periods of the slave trade

    • Origins of enslaved Africans from different ports

    • Differences between slave-trading nations


Socio historic context of creole genesis56 l.jpg
Socio-historic Context of Creole Genesis Origin

  • Direct arrivals vs transshipments of enslaved Africans

  • Life expectancy/rate of renewal of the enslaved population

  • Birth rate and child mortality

  • Out-migration

  • Internal population shifts (e.g. from plantations to maroon communities)

  • Origins of European population.


Conclusion l.jpg
Conclusion Origin

  • The presence of the Africans in the Caribbean increased the number of languages present in the region. They brought new languages and coined new ones (Creoles). Issues relating to the formation of Creoles must necessarily examine the sociohistoric context of the genesis, both life in plantation societies and the demographics of the population in each territory.


ad